Fed Cup tennis finale may be a fitting swansong for Sam Stosur

SHENZHEN CHINA- NOVEMBER 04  Kristina Mladenovic of France Timea Babos of Hungary and Ashleigh Barty of Australia pose with the Martina Navratilova trophy and Billie Jean King trophy respectively following their victories in the Women's Dou

SHENZHEN CHINA- NOVEMBER 04 Kristina Mladenovic of France Timea Babos of Hungary and Ashleigh Barty of Australia pose with the Martina Navratilova trophy and Billie Jean King trophy respectively following their victories in the Women's Dou

Fed Cup debutant Ajla Tomljanovic will back up world No.1 Ashleigh Barty in the singles component of Australia's final against France in Perth this weekend.

"We practice often together and we know each other really well", Mladenovic said.

"When you play a Fed Cup final with the number one in the world in the other side, and away, you can not say that you have an advantage", Benneteau said. "Sam has paved the path for all of us, we've all grown up watching her, we've had the privilege of playing with her, playing against her, and I think I'm just trying to do my best to run off that".

Tomljanovic and Mladenovic know each other well - the pair rose through the junior ranks in Europe together and their fathers played each other in professional handball.

The finale marks the last Fed Cup final played under the current format, with an overhaul next year seeing 12 nations compete in a six-day event in Budapest. "She's a great player".

While Tomljanovic is Australia's second-highest ranked female player behind Barty, her selection is still something of a leap of faith given the highly-experienced Stosur boasts the most singles wins for Australia in Fed Cup history. "We have to go for it from the first match to the last one". Australia earlier received the occasion, beforehand recognised because the Federation Cup, in Italy in 1974, with Evonne Goolagong, Dianne Fromholtz and Janet Youthful defeating the US two-one.

World number 51 Tomljanovic will play French number one Kristina Mladenovic in the first singles at Perth Arena on Saturday, with Ash Barty to take on Caroline Garcia in the second.

Each equally Barty, who gained final weekend's WTA Finals in China, and Stosur and Mladenovic/Garcia acquired a few-established dwell fifth doubles matches in April's semifinals to ship their global locations to the last word.

Four of the seven came from when Margaret Court dominated the game, with the 24-time Grand Slam champion claiming all 20 of her Fed Cup matches.

The reverse singles will be followed by a potential deciding doubles match. This year she is 6-0, winning all her singles matches.

Australia's No. 1 female player between 2008 and 2017, Stosur has ridden the highs and lows of worldwide tennis on her way to one Grand Slam title and six doubles crowns, but in a career that never quite reached the heights it promised, a Fed Cup victory would be the flawless send off.

Australia are bidding for their eighth title and first since 1974, with France going for a third after last winning the team tournament in 2003.

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